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Cardiff Blues trio retain Wales Women starting spots for England challenge

International | 2nd March 2020

Three Cardiff Blues players have retained their places in the Wales Women side to take on England at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday (KO 12.05pm).

Chris Horsman has made two changes from their defeat to France as they prepare to go head-to-head with the Championship leaders at the home of Harlequins.

Cardiff Blues' Georgia Evans, Cerys Hale and Robyn Wilkins remain in the starting XV, as lock Natalia John and centre Hannah Jones return to the side.

Cardiff Blues Community Foundation's Kelsey Jones retains the number two jersey, while Wales' Capital Region's utility back Hannah Bluck is set for her first involvement of this year's Championship from the bench.

Ospreys duo Jones and Keira Bevan start after being named in the GB Sevens' extended squad ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo earlier this week, alongside Jasmine Joyce.

Horsman said, “We know Saturday’s Test will be a huge challenge, England are one of the best teams in the world right now, if not the best.

“We always knew this would be a challenging championship and following a tough day against France, England will certainly be no easier. However, the girls are ready to test themselves again against the best, that’s what they want to do in order to improve ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. We are fulfilling our aims of growing depth in the squad by exposing players to this level of the game.

“It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm of so many young players trying rugby activities, many of them for the first time.

“It’s a key aim of the WRU community department to grow the game for women and girls in Wales and meet the demand for more female playing opportunities along with other rugby roles. Increased numbers playing the game is certainly a key part in helping Wales to become more competitive internationally in the future.”   

The side was announced today at an event at Cwmbran Stadium where more than 400 primary school girls were given a day-long taster of fun, rugby-based activities.

‘Rookie Rugby’ events will introduce more than 10,000 girls to rugby this season, kicking off with a bumper week of large scale and school-based events around Wales.

Wales Women: Kayleigh Powell; Lisa Neumann, Hannah Jones, Kerin Lake, Caitlin Lewis; Robyn Wilkins, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones, Cerys Hale, Georgia Evans, Natalia John, Alisha Butchers, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap (capt.)

Replacements: Molly Kelly, Cara Hope, Ruth Lewis, Gwen Crabb, Robyn Lock, Ffion Lewis, Hannah Bluck, Lauren Smyth